Kendra Cross, the U.S. Department of Agriculture biologist who manages wildlife at DIA, told the Denver Post that the airport is more susceptible to bird and wildlife strikes because it covers more land than any other airport in the nation -- 49,000 acres.
It's the fifth-busiest airport in the country.
Geography also plays a role. DIA isn't an urban airport -- "We're situated right in the middle of an agricultural area," Cross said.
The Dallas Morning News reports that bird strikes at D/FW occur hundreds of times a year, but they generally do less damage than at some other airfields, according to pilots and airport officials. That's because the birds that cross the airfield or try to roost near the terminals are smaller species, such as doves and meadowlarks, said Cathy Boyles, wildlife administrator for D/FW. But the area also has larger birds such as black vultures and turkey vultures, she said.
"We're out here on the grounds all the time watching out for birds and other wildlife," she said. The staff of 30 also deals with coyotes, stray dogs, rodents and even the occasional turtle that wanders across a runway, she said.
Her team uses several methods to try to reduce bird strikes. In the fall, a falconer is brought in to deal with birds roosting in the live oaks. The falcon scares away birds that otherwise would fly around the airport grounds looking for food. Her staff also uses hand-held noisemakers, sirens mounted on airport vehicles and propane cannons that produce booming sounds.